Dawkins spectrum of probabilities

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fintanruth
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Dawkins spectrum of probabilities

Post by fintanruth » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:46 am

On page 50 of The God Delusion Dawkins has a list of seven probabilities about the existence of God.

1 Strong theist.

7 Strong atheist.

Dawkins classes himself at 6 Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he not there.’

He would be surprised to meet many people in category 7.

Have we any category 7 atheists as members? And if so why?

Have we any category 6 atheists as members? And if so why?

And how about category 5 where do we all stand?


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Post by CatHerder » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:06 am

:)
Last edited by CatHerder on Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Neesik
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Post by Neesik » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:18 pm

I'm category 7 regarding the God of the bible, category 6 as to whether there is "anything" out there.
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fintanruth
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Post by fintanruth » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:55 pm

Neesik wrote:
I'm category 7 regarding the God of the bible, category 6 as to whether there is "anything" out there.
Hi Neesik

Delighted to meet another category 7, but I would like you to explain what you mean by "anything" out there.

Seamus are you sure you didn't mean category "d" for a little what's that other word I can't think of it now?

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Post by ravenflag » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:19 pm

Im category 7 because the whole concept of god is just so fucking stupid i dont have any other option.A category 6 is low probability because god cant be disproved,god will never be disproved either will the tooth fairy and so on.So in my humble opinion anyone other than a 7 or a 0 are agnostic.
By all means lets be open minded,but not so open minded that our brains fall out.
Richard Dawkins
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Post by adamd164 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:43 pm

ravenflag wrote:Im category 7 because the whole concept of god is just so fucking stupid i dont have any other option.A category 6 is low probability because god cant be disproved,god will never be disproved either will the tooth fairy and so on.So in my humble opinion anyone other than a 7 or a 0 are agnostic.
It comes down to how technically you wish to treat it. No one can logically call themselves a de facto 7, yet I would consider myself - in practice - to be a 7.

I suppose technically, I'm a 6.95. :P
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Post by mkaobrih » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:00 pm

I’d be a 7 as well.
I cannot believe in a thing that operates out side the natural order of things.

We (as a species) may never know everything there is to know and are properly incapable of doing so.

A God would have to be omniscient omnipresent omnipotent and omni benevolent in order to be deemed worth worshiping. He’d have to be perfect and also unchangeable (as any change would be a corruption). Why would a perfect god create imperfect things?

If there were a God it would have to obey the same rules as everything else in the universe (or it’s universe) – making it just another evolved being.

If an evolved creature created the universe that still wouldn’t make it a god.
I’m thinking of the episode of The Simpson’s when Lisa grew a tiny universe by accident for her science experiment. Lisa was not a god she just seemed godlike to her little universe people.

I can’t see how you could possibly believe in a single god. Multiple gods makes a bit more sense - good ones and bad ones, but there not worth worshiping because they have squabbles and so are flawed. Having no god at all seems much more likely.

As for holy books they are just stories, fables and bits of history. The main religions also are pointless as they very specific about their god and what he wants them to do. Which is ridiculous. The more mystical religions make a bit more sense as they are reflective and inward looking. But you can do that without having to label yourself a belonging to a religion. I’m not into mysticism though.
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Post by Gar » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:31 pm

even though theoretically I'm an agnostic because I'd like to think I can change my opinion on things given evidence, although I can't imagine what compelling evidence there could be for a deity, so in practice I'm a Level 7 atheist... (wouldn't it be great if we got cool rewards the higher up the levels we were a la World of Warcraft ! :P)
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Post by marklen » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:41 pm

I remember having similar discussion on alt.atheism years ago (back when news groups were cool - how many years ago was that?)

At the time someone proposed that atheists were categories into:-
* Weak Position Atheism - Don't believe in God
* Strong Position Atheism - Believe God does not exist

I didn't like either definition at all. (In fact I think the proposer was a Jesuit).

I'm not sure about the choice between Dawkin's 6 and 7 either. I think it relies too heavily on "know" just being a somehow stronger feeling than believe. Look at the opposite position, item 1, the quote from Jung, to see what I mean. I'm worried that depending on the definition of "know" you could demonstrate that position 7 is impossible unless the person holding it is omniscient.

I certainly feel more at home with 7 and "strong position" as it was.

My true position is as follows:

* Like everyone else I have a "model" in my mind of how the universe works, what is is, what is in it, how it is made up, my position within it, the laws of nature etc. Another word for it is "world view" I suppose.
* Unlike some people, I don't expect my model to be perfect or complete.
* My model also includes mechanisms on how best to expand and verify the model.
* My model does NOT currently have any God in it, although it did in the past.
* Prior models with God were demonstrably inferior, in that they failed to really model anything. Simply replacing large unknowns with the label "God" and then declaring the model complete, is not an attempt to understand anything.

Getting back to my penultimate point, my model doesn't have a God in it.

Some people would read that as "believe God doesn't exist", hence I categorised myself in the past as "strong position" atheist back in the day.

But I still can't quite say "I know God doesn't exist". What I can say is, I'd need a heck of a lot of direct evidence to be persuaded that any model proposing a God is a model at all. By direct evidence I mean angels flying around Grafton St., Jesus making wine in my living room, all cancers in the world disappearing, Irish Rail running on time, etc. Also by the time I accepted the model, it wouldn't really be a god at all but rather: "the thing referred to as God which is some kind of very powerful entity that makes a number of outrageous claims (most notable being: (a) that it loves us and and (b) that it created the universe) and is prone to act in a vicious, irrational and unpredictable manner usually to the detriment of whatver defenceless humans it happens to notice".

So does that make me 6 or a 7?

Sorry for a very self absorbed post and failing to provide a straight answer :(
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Post by ravenflag » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:38 pm

There are very few black and white situations in life but this is one.Either you BELIVE in GOD :roll: or you DONT,simple as that,there is no in bewteen.If you think that there is a 1% chance god exists you are agnostic. It may take years to reach a conclusion that you are happy with but there is no avoiding the question,do you belive or not? YES? NO? there is no maybe.
By all means lets be open minded,but not so open minded that our brains fall out.
Richard Dawkins
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